Edmonton Journal

Djokovic avoids ‘Big Four’ rivals in Wimbledon draw


LONDON — Defending champion Novak Djokovic avoided his three biggest traditiona­l rivals in the Wimbledon draw on Friday as the other members of tennis’ “Big Four” were all placed on the opposite side.

Serena Williams had no such luck in the women’s draw, where she may have to get past a trio of former No. 1s — sister Venus, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova — just to get to the final.

Canadians Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard will all compete at Wimbledon.

Raonic, ranked No. 7 and in the top half of the draw with Djokovic, kicks off his campaign Monday against Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, ranked No. 62 in the world.

Pospisil, ranked No. 54, opens against qualifier Vincent Millott of France on Tuesday, while Bouchard, seeded 12th, will take on Ying-Ying Duan of China on Tuesday.

Raonic is returning from surgery on a pinched nerve in his foot, while Bouchard was forced to draw out of Eastborne this week with an abdominal injury.

The draw at the All England Club set up a number of intriguing possibilit­ies for the upcoming two weeks, especially with former champions Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal all grouped together in the bottom half of the men’s draw. Murray and Nadal could face each other in the quarter-finals, with Federer possibly awaiting the winner in the semis.

The bottom half also includes former finalist Tomas Berdych and former semifinali­st Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, leaving Djokovic facing a possible semifinal against Stan Wawrinka, the man who beat him in the French Open final. Bouchard, a finalist last year, is in the other half of the draw and could face defending champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter-final.

 ??  ?? Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard

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